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Unknown Soldier Vol. 1: Haunted House Paperback – August 14, 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Review

"This is an immensely brave, intelligent and ruthless piece of work. You need to read it." -- Warren Ellis
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Product Details

  • Series: Unknown Soldier (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; First Edition edition (August 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401223117
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401223113
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,116,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I did not know that this was a re-imagining of an older DC character when I first read through this book but that point did not matter much as this trade collects the first 6 issues of Vertigo's 'Unknown Soldier,' that kept me compelled with its tale of Ugandan strife and brutality and an anti-hero that rises from its ashes. Oh yeah, Alberto Ponticelli's artwork is a standout with a strong visual style that is both detailed, articulate and visceral.
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Format: Paperback
I'll start this out by saying I am a huge fan of what DC is doing with its Vertigo line of comics. They help fill a gap in market that Marvel and DC proper are missing.

Unknown soldier is the story of a doctor names Moses whom is working in war torn Uganda. He and his wife are both pacifists who are trying to fix the area though medical help and peace. After witness a large number of the savage attacks and activities in the region, Moses finally snaps and leaves his pacifist ideals behind. While he thinks of himself as going crazy, there is something else going on in his mind, perhaps from his past, that is teased, but not answered in this volume. It is a interesting ride following a man who put down his medical bag and picks up a automatic rifle.

I feel that the story of in this book was very strong. Joshua Dysart has fleshed out the character of Moses quite well and also creates a good protagonist. The dialog is well done and the story moves along on a very brisk pace.

The art is ok, but there are a few issues. The girls that Alberto Ponticelli draw look a bit off, but other wise it has a very intesreting style and fits well. Bring the art to higher level though is some great coloring by Oscer Celestini. His color use was my second favorite thing about this book after the writing.

Overall, I feel this is a great book to add to your library if your a fan of mature, non-super hero book. It deals with some nasty, heavy issues, but does so in a very real world way. I'm looking forward to volume two.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
it's didactic but it has to be. context is very important here.
the characters are believable. the subject is compelling. the storytelling is well done. and the art kicks butt. im highly impressed.
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Format: Paperback
Some books you know from a random issue; not this one. It takes reading a full arc to understand the beauty and horror of this series. This is at the top of my monthly comic pile now. No shortage of action, either, to go along with some deep history. Unlike anything else on the stands.
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Format: Paperback
Dr Moses Lwanga escaped Uganda as a child with his family to America but now as a grown man he has returned to help Uganda overcome it's many problems - civil war, disease, corruption - and become a unified, peaceful nation. But faced with the hellish realities where kids with guns are killing people randomly and kidnapping female children to become sex slaves, Moses realises the only effective route to bring about real change in such a brutal landscape will be uncompromising violence.

I realise that almost everything in this book - Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army, child soldiers, child rape, endless bloody fighting, rampant disease - are completely grounded in reality, and continue to be problems not just for Uganda but throughout the continent of Africa, so it makes critiquing this book more awkward than others. If I say "this book was boring" then it seems like I'm a heartless monster with no sympathy for these peoples' plight! So all the criticisms in this review are about Joshua Dysart's treatment of the subject matter and writing rather than the realities themselves which are, of course, truly horrific.

I'm not sure what this book is supposed to be. An action story with a superficial conscience? Look at all this suffering - now watch this gunfight! Pray for the children - now watch kids being slaughtered by other kids! The reaction to a serious real world situation in a comic is instinctively "this is important" but unless the writer is saying something meaningful about it then it may as well be a Red Cross infomercial for donations. And that's what "Unknown Soldier" feels like, a showcase of suffering in Uganda whose solution, at least to Dysart, seems to be watching Moses dispense rough justice in a land where justice is entirely absent.
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Format: Paperback
Being a comics fan for many years, I'd read and enjoyed previous stories involving DC Comics' "Unknown Soldier," but did not pick up the new Vertigo version when it started recently. An article in the NY Times about the new series, seeing writer Joshua Dysart's enthusiasm and charm in an interview (and he's cute, which I guess is not a very good reason to read someone's work) and a low price for this collection all convened to where I picked the book up.

It is certainly meticulously researched and gives a lot of information about the conflict in Uganda, but I found the characters uninteresting, the thin plot stretched interminably over 140 pages and felt that I was being hit over the head with information and "important messages."

The book got great reviews in both comics-related media and some mainstream press, so I'm probably in the minority here--but, I do not recommend this at all.
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